This was arguably the biggest game of the season, and with no news on a permanent manager it was down to Scott Marshall to take charge for another week. He picked up a point away from home in a 1-1 draw; Rotherham netting a late equaliser.
Sam Baldock had given us a very early lead in what was a good first half performance. Our second half display wasn’t as positive, and we conceded very late on to take home a point back to the Madejski Stadium.
Marshall on the performance
“We worked tremendously hard right throughout the 95 minutes. But the pressure was building and the balls were coming into the box, which they filled with numbers. It was really tough to deal with all afternoon. But we showed some real quality at times and some great chances earlier in the game.
“We could have been out of sight at the end of the first half. And you knew, with one goal in it, it made it a bit cagey. And we knew there was going to be a right scrap at the end - and all it takes for the ball to bounce in the right area for them and they can score.
“The style that they have and the pressure they put you under in the box, at 1-0 it was always going to be a tough five minutes towards the end. And so it proved. But we’ve come away with a good point I think.”
Marshall on our attacking performance
“We were really dangerous on the break - there were some really good counter attacks and we would probably have like d to establish a bit more possession and control of the ball in the second half.
“That would have been my preferred method of defence, keeping the ball and moving them around a little bit better, controlling the game a little bit that way. But the conditions made it difficult to maintain that throughout the game, not to mention the opposition who didn’t make it easy for us.
“The chances we’d missed and how well we played in the first half was probably in the back of your mind a little bit - not taking those chances and getting that two-goal cushion meant we had to be really brave in possession of the ball in the second half and try to control it that way.
“You can’t relax for a minute. We expected a barrage at the end with only a goal in it, and we knew they would be getting that ball into the box and looking for that chaos factor - and it just so happened that we conceded one corner too many in the end.”
Marshall on Reading not taking their opportunities
“We got the ball down and created some good chances. We would have liked to have done a bit more. We hit the post and Swift had a few runs in the box.
“If one of those had fallen for us that would have been nice and it would have seen it off. A two-goal cushion would have been nice.”
Marshall on moving forward with a point
“We’ll take the point. We need to make sure the boys recover well. I was happy with the spirit.
“It was a big physical challenge and we had to meet that head on. It was tough and they put us under a fair bit of pressure. We needed to show a lot of resilience. It was good to see Tom McIntyre at centre-back.”
Marshall on McIntyre’s debut
“He got a nice early clump early on to say welcome to the Championship. I know him well and he’s a good strong character.
“I knew he would enjoy the situation and the game. He’s one to roll his sleeves up - he’s not one to shy away from that. He did really well.”
Marshall on injuries to centre-backs
“You have to get on with it. That’s the way it is, there’s no point in complaining. Tom’s got his opportunity so now we know a lot more about him playing first team football.
“It’s good to see and that’s how opportunities come along. It was good to see everybody rallying around and doing their bit in a tough place to come. With the way they play there’s no respite.”
Marshall on his position
“I enjoyed it today. The nerves of first team football jangling, I enjoyed that. It was good to see a dressing room focused and ready for work for each other. I enjoyed being around all that today.
“I’m not exactly sure what’s going on but I am certainly planning that way (to be in charge next week). I enjoyed it this week and the game so we’ll move on. I’m having regular conversations with Nigel Howe.”
Marshall on squad morale
“They don’t need picking up. They are good pros and good players so we’ll take it with a level head.
“Nobody likes having three points in their hands but they don’t get them as it doesn’t turn out that way. There’s disappointment but it’s not an easy place to come to and we’ll move on to the next one.”
Marshall on the travelling fans
“It wasn’t very warm out there and the rain was belting down. We were pleased with them and there was a good noise.
“Hopefully they enjoyed what they saw and we’ve sent them home happy.”